Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas.
Playing for fun
Most people play football because they like it. With this in mind, ensuring your sessions feel like an actual game is essential. Easy ways to do this include:
- using goals and goalkeepers
- encouraging competition (e.g. awarding points)
- adding opposition (e.g. one side versus another)
- making play directional (teams attack one end of the pitch and defend the other).
Playing for social connection
This is another popular motivation. Football allows players to spend time with friends, strengthen existing relationships and meet new people.
To help support this social connection, try to:
- give your team time to catch up at the start of a session
- let players pick sides
- build team talks into training
- ask open questions and encourage interaction.
For more on the link between relationships and motivation, check out this article.
Playing for fitness
Football is a sport that requires loads of different movements. From stopping and starting to dodging and weaving – the game offers a great way to improve your fitness.
To encourage physical health, try to maximise your team’s movement and time on the ball. Adding constraints, like those listed below, can help.
- If the ball goes out of play, you only have three seconds to get it back on the pitch.
- All your team must be in the opposition’s half for a goal to count.
- Any goals scored within 10 seconds of winning possession are worth two points – instead of one.
And remember, when designing a ‘fitness’ session, always check in with your players. Lee Brown, FA coach developer, explains why...